Hello everyone! Back safe and sound from SoCal. I’m excited… this post has been cooking for over a year now! I met Australian quilter and stitcher extraordinaire Helen Stubbings at Market a couple of times, and we finally got it together for her to do a guest post on her method of appliqué! You are going to love this! Take it away Helen!
Glue stick Applique
By Helen Stubbings of Hugs ‘n Kisses
This easy or some would say ‘cheats’ method of needleturn applique takes the scare factor out of needleturn. Most of the work is in the preparation, leaving the actual stitching as the easy bit.
Place a sheet of applique paper with the shiny (glue) side down on top of your template or design printed sheet. It is semitransparent so you can easily see the design through the paper. Trace each design or template shape onto the paper – I like to use a Sewline Ceramic pencil which glides on nicely. Note: if your applique design is directional you need to reverse it for this method.
Cut out each shape carefully on the traced lines. This is the important part – be as careful as possible as this determines your final shape.
Fuse each shape to the wrong side of your chosen fabrics. You need to leave a large ¼” between shapes for seam allowances.
If you wish, you can fussy-cut your fabrics by positioning the shapes to suit.
Cut out each shape leaving an approximate 1/8” seam allowance.
Using the glue pen, run a line of glue along the edge of the paper template –- it only needs to be light and right on the edge.
Using your thumb and forefinger, gently press over the seam allowance onto the glue. You want to fold the fabric on the edge of the paper –- but you don’t want to fold the paper as well, it doesn’t take too long to get the feel of the edge of the paper and where to fold to.
If the end of your applique piece is going to be under another piece in the final design you do not need to glue and fold these edges over.
You do not need to clip into outer curves. Our seam allowance is small and often on the bias so clipping is not necessary. Just gently fold/pleat around curves a small step at a time so you do not get points. If you are having trouble eliminating points try trimming back the seam allowance a little further.
If you have tails like on this leaf, just leave those and they will be dealt with later.
Your prepared shape!
You will need to clip on inner curves – but not as much as you may be used to. Just clip where you absolutely need to to enable the seam allowances to fold in nicely. Inner points need to be clipped to the edge of the paper.
Continue glueing until all shapes are prepared.
Position your background fabric over the design sheet. Use a light box if you cannot easily see through the fabric.
Position and layer all applique pieces following the design you can see underneath. Use the glue pen or for larger projects Roxanne’s Glue baste it to secure all pieces at once. Just layer them up until the complete block is ready for stitching.
Now you can stitch all pieces down as you would for your normal applique method. I use Hugs ‘n Kisses applique needles and Superior Bottom Line threads but you can use your thread of choice. When stitching down those tails that are showing, stitch to the point and do a double stitch to hold, tuck under the tail with the tip of your needle and continue in the new direction.
No need to remove the papers – when it is washed they will just dissolve and soften into safe fibres in your quilt project.
All of our Hugs ‘n Kisses applique patterns include the full design sheet along with reversed where necessary templates and applique shapes for tracing. We are considering including pre-printed Applique Paper in our patterns in the future –- so you can just cut out, glue and stitch!
Awhile ago, Daniquilter wrote:
I really need to see a step-by-step tutorial of you working through difficult parts of appliqué: inner curves, outer curves, points, what to do when a curve is pointy rather than curvy, etc. In other tutorials I see the beginning and then the end of a piece without the process in between. Love your blog!!
First of all, thank you so much Daniquilter for your nice words about the blog! I enjoy writing it.
It looks like you’re looking for information on hand stitching. It’s all here already! Here’s a roundup of past posts that address these very issues:
Remember that you can always use the Categories and Keyword Search function to find information about topics in appliqué. If you’re subscribed by email, you’ll need to click over to the blog itself, so that you can see and use the sidebars.
My next quilt show is in Phoenix, Arizona, January 26-28. It’s the Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival at the Arizona State Fairgrounds! If you’re in that area, I hope to see you there!
Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie
Today I thought I’d post my illustrations showing how to hand-appliqué points. When I was learning to appliqué, this was one of the biggest mysteries to me, and when I finally “got it” my confidence took a big boost.
To begin with, you’ll want a turning allowance of no more than 3/16″. A quarter inch is just too much bulk to stuff under a point.
The stitches are exaggerated for illustration purposes.
Sew to within two or three stitches of the point.
Trim off the folded-under puppydog ear that is sticking out the other side of the point.
Fold the tip down square across.
Take the remaining stitches to the point, the last one coming right out of the tip.
Turn the project.
Starting at the point, tuck the turning allowance under. Don’t try to start further up and work down to the point. There will be no room at the point for the turning allowance if you try to do that. Work from the very point upwards.
When all is arranged satisfactorily, continue to stitch.
I hope this is helpful to you if you’ve found pointy points to be a mystery too.
Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie
All graphics © Kay Mackenzie